I've managed to get some training contract interviews. What should I wear?
The Oracle replies
Like it or not, when you join the legal profession, you join a world that requires a certain conservatism and level of conformity. When a solicitor or barrister is in court or interacting with business clients, he/she will most likely be wearing a suit. As a result, when you go for interview, you should dress as you would expect to be dressed if you were to get the job.
Emma Young, graduate recruitment and development manager at Ashurst, says of some of the interviewees she has met: "Some people get the dress code completely wrong, which is an instant turn-off. Lawyers are business people and are expected to look the part… Part of the job is projecting the image of a professional; not in a stuffy, Dickensian, bowler hat kind of way, but clients expect to see a lawyer. Looking professional does not simply mean investing in a decent suit - you have to think about your overall presentation. That means arriving clean shaven (where applicable), with neat hair and not looking like you've been up all night. Being presentable doesn't necessarily mean being conservative; you can bring in elements of your own individual style, but play it safe if you're in any doubt".
What all this means is that you need to make an effort to look smart. This, in turn, translates to wearing a suit. What it doesn't mean is having to suppress your individual sartorial style - a well-fitting suit can be a thing of great beauty! So the next step is getting your hands on some fancy business clobber. As with most things in life, it really is worth investing in quality - consider it a sound investment in your future career.